Of course, what do you do with buttermilk other than make buttermilk pancakes? Ooh, these were sooo good made with the fresh buttermilk and topped with our fresh butter! I usually put peanut butter on my pancakes, but these were so good even plain, that I couldn't bear to tarnish their purity with the peanut butter, so I used some fresh butter and pure maple syrup. I cannot wait to make these again when I have fresh buttermilk again! Making butter is no cheaper than buying it, but getting the fresh buttermilk makes it a worthwhile endeavor!
Yogurt making was not new to me. I used to make plain yogurt all the time. It was one of Ethan's favorite baby foods. I had gotten out of the habit of making it, though. Here's what you need to make yogurt:
- a yogurt maker (or you can use your oven - instructions below)
- 1 quart good quality milk
- commercial yogurt starter or 1/2 c. plain yogurt (high quality and fresh, room temperature)
- candy thermometer
First, heat the milk gently until the thermometer reads 180 degrees.
Remove the milk from heat, pour it into the container that comes with the yogurt maker and cool to 110 degrees. You can do this in the refrigerator to speed the process, but watch it closely because it cools quickly once it gets under 120. Once cooled, stir in the yogurt starter. If you are using the 1/2 cup yogurt, stir about a cup of the cooled milk into the yogurt, then stir this back into the rest of the milk.
Place the container into the yogurt maker and process as directed.
I like to process mine for a shorter time, because then end product is milder. I can actually eat the homemade yogurt unsweetened because it is mild. It is great in smoothies and with a bit of fruit or jam, too. If you don't have a yogurt maker, you can pour your mixture into a shallow glass, enamel or stainless steel container. Then place the container into a warm oven (a gas oven with a pilot light or electric oven pre-heated to warm and then turned off) overnight. Your yogurt will be ready in the morning. I've never tried this method, but I've read that it works.
Mmmmm, yogurt. Other than being able to control the tartness, the only other difference between homemade yogurt and commercial yogurt is that homemade is generally runnier than store bought. Really, if you have milk and plain yogurt, there is no reason not to try this! I tried using the 1/2 cup yogurt instead of the starter this week, with not so great results. But that is for another post...